On Monday, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would allow DREAMers who received temporary amnesty under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action plan to become eligible to apply to U.S. military academies.
Castro, the twin brother of San Antonio mayor and potential Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, said that Americans “can’t ignore” children who “were brought to this country without documentation” and “are now stuck in limbo with a lot of potential, but an empty promise.”
DREAMers who received Deferred Action are ineligible to apply to academies like West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) also filed his ENLIST Act amendment that would grant amnesty to DREAMers who enlist in the military in defiance of House leaders. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) did an about-face on Denham’s amendment, and a Cantor spokesman said that “no proposed ENLIST amendments to the NDAA will be made in order.”
On Monday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on the Pentagon to allow DREAMers to enlist, while a top Pentagon official suggested the Obama administration may do so by this summer by deeming DREAMers “vital to the national interest.”
The House Rules Committee will meet on Tuesday to decide what amendments to consider.